There are plenty of meaningful stats heading into Sunday’s 105th Grey Cup between the Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts. Here are seven that could make a difference.
42 – game-winning drives by Toronto Argonauts quarterback Ricky Ray in his CFL career, including one in last week’s East Final win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Stamps QB Bo Levi Mitchell has 14, none in the post-season. If Ray has the ball with the game on the line, the Argos will feel good about their chances.
8 – consecutive wins by the Stamps over Toronto including two this season. Ray and Mitchell have started against one another five times in the regular season with the Calgary quarterback coming out on top in all five.
18.2 – the punt return average by Calgary’s Roy Finch in those two meetings, who also had a touchdown. If the Argos can’t contain Finch and Calgary has good field position all game, it will spell big trouble for Toronto.
30 – sacks allowed by the Calgary offensive line this season, second lowest in the CFL. But eight of them were by Toronto in their two meetings this season. Argonaut defensive end Shawn Lemon had three sacks in the win over the Riders last week and he’ll be motivated by the trash talk from Calgary counterpart and former teammate Charleston Hughes.
7-51 – the Grey Cup record of teams with more turnovers since 1945. The Stamps were No. 1 in the CFL this season with a plus-20 turnover differential while the Argos were minus-3 (sixth in the league.) Turnovers are always key but that’s especially true for Toronto.
7 – number of consecutive Grey Cup winners who have had more rushing yards than their opponents: since 1992, the team that has more rushing yards is 21-4. Calgary was sixth in the CFL with a 92.4 yards per game rushing average while the Argonauts were seventh (90.2.) Both of these teams have excellent backs in Jerome Messam (Calgary) and James Wilder Jr. (Toronto) but Calgary also uses the dynamic Finch to change things up. Weather could be a factor, too: there’s a 70 per cent chance of snow come game time.
1 – six of the last seven Grey Cup winners have led after the first quarter, including the Ottawa Redblacks in their victory over the Stampeders last year. With the heightened emotion of the championship game, falling behind early can be difficult to come back from – that could be especially true of Calgary, facing the prospect of back-to-back losses.
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